Meru: Transport paralysed as matatus operators stage protests

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 31 May, 2024 11:30 | 2 mins read
Police Officers clearing the road in Meru following protests staged by matatu operators on Friday May 31, 2024. PHOTO/ Nelson Mutwiri.

Transport has been paralysed in Meru Town after Public Service Vehicles (PSV), majorly matatus and taxis, staged protests on Friday, May 31, 2024.

The matatu and taxi operators blocked the major roads leading to the busy town, rendering the area impassable.

The irate operators lit bonfires using old tyres and erected stones on the road blocking all other motorists from accessing Meru Town.

Police Officers clearing the road in Meru following protests staged by matatu operators on Friday May 31, 2024. PHOTO/ Nelson Mutwiri.
Bonfire lit in the middle of the road following protests staged by matatu operators on Friday May 31, 2024. PHOTO/ Nelson Mutwiri.

Passengers were also left stranded as matatu operators downed their tools and engaged with the law enforcement officers over what they termed the County's involvement in their operations. Commuters were left at the mercy of boda boda operators who managed to manoeuvre amid chaos.

Law enforcement officers from Meru were forced to intervene to repel the protesting matatu operators who attributed their demonstration to mistreatment from county officials.

By the time of this publication, Meru County officials had not responded to concerns raised by the striking matatu and taxi operators.

A road leading to Meru Town blocked by stones and bonfire on Friday May 31, 2024. PHOTO/ Nelson Mutwiri.

However, matatu operators wanted their concerns to be addressed by the county leadership before resuming normal operations.

Previous protests in the region

Meru County has been marred by a series of protests in the recent past. On May 26, 2024, traders in the region brought businesses to a halt demonstrating the ban on the sale of muguka by Mombasa and Kilifi Counties.

The angry residents who decried the move as devastating to their livelihoods, blocked the highway within Runyenjes Town, causing massive traffic jams and disrupting daily commerce.

Police were forced to lob teargas canisters to disperse the angry mob that has started barricading the road with stone and burning tires to allow smooth flow of traffic.

They blocked the busy Embu-Meru highway insisting that the ban was abrupt and unprocedural.

“We were not given a chance to present our views, the authorities just made this decision without considering how it would affect thousands of families who rely on this trade,"one of the affected traders lamented.

However, following President William Ruto's meeting with leaders from the region, the traders called off their protests.

Related Topics